Saturday, November 8, 2008

I Heart Rick Steves and Google Maps

To find my Paris lodging I searched, recommendations from friends, and finally chose a place that I found on Rick Steves budget hotel list on the "Sleeping In Paris" page. My small room in the Port-Royal Hotel (on Porte-Royal Blvd) will be for one person, will have one washbasin (sink), no toilet, and no shower (the last two are down the hall), all for 48 euros per night (coming to under $250 for 4 nights)! I'm perfectly happy with an inexpensive, bare-bones room (provided it's clean) because I don't plan to be there all that much. The time I will be there I mostly plan on looking at the back of my eyelids, in the dark, not at how the room is decorated, or at a stunning view out of my window, or (god forbid) anything on television. (Really - I'm not traveling from one side of the planet to the other to see what's on my hotel room's fancy, flat-screen TV!) The money I save can be used for experiencing everything outside of my hotel room. As for a deposit on my reservation, none is needed, and they don't accept credit cards. I suppose we'll see if there is actually a room waiting for me when I arrive. ha!

Thanks to the nice people at Google Maps, and because of the genius of the "street view" of their maps, I was able to see the neighborhoods of each of the Paris hotels that I considered staying in. I feel so comfortable with the neighborhood I'll be staying in, and have "virtually" walked it so many times that I know where the Poste office is, and where the nearest metro entrance is located. It feels strangely familiar to me now,... as if it were my neighborhood. I just wonder what it will be like when I'm actually there. Because of this map view, I also know that my hotel is located on a wide, tree lined street (vs. a narrow back-alley looking street), there is a pharmacie 2 doors down, a movie theater nearby, and, in fact, a McDonald's just down the block. I'm interested in that last item only for the sake of novelty. It will be on my Paris to-do list to have the Royal Cheese on the Port-Royal blvd. More on that later....

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